Do you use your mobile phone to do work even when you’re not at work? What about when you’re on vacation?

So the other day I was in an event for pretty much the entire day that – horrors of horrors – was held in a location without wireless access. I kept seeing people pulling out their phones – likely to check their email – and realized that like an idiot I had left mine in my car. And then of course when I got back to my phone, the first thing I saw was a work-related email timestamped about four hours earlier asking if I could have something done, oh, half an hour ago.

For me, having my phone on me most of the time means that I stay connected – which means that I have the opportunity to get work done when I need to. Like answering emails or returning calls, or sometimes even dictating notes for myself for later. But the nice thing is that I don’t have to. We haven’t yet gotten to the point where everyone expects an email response five minutes later after working hours just because you probably have a phone on you – though when that day comes, I guess we can all kiss our personal lives goodbye.

Still, it is nice to have that option. Even when you’re on vacation you don’t have to stress about missing really important stuff. Or if you’re like me and get a little bored at family gatherings, you can always respond to emails (or play games and pretend you’re doing Very Important Work). Though sometimes a vacation means turning off the phone – also a legitimate option!

So what about you? Do you use your mobile phone to do work when you’re not at work? What about when you’re on vacation? Of course, maybe you don’t like to take your work home with you at all! In that case, maybe you’re using your phone to do fun things when you are at work.





10 Responses to Do you use your mobile phone to do work even when you’re not at work? What about when you’re on vacation?

  1. I'm a strange IT person who doesn't (yet) have a data plan for my phone. Part of the reason is so I have a good excuse to stay "unplugged" when away from work (and part of it is financial). I do like my cell phone/PDA combo (which at the time I got it 2 years ago was considered a "smartphone", although now doesn't qualify as such).

    I do leave my phone on even when I'm on vacation so that people from the office can reach me in an emergency, but I can't check my email with it. I also often take my laptop with me on vacations, but I rarely check my work email during vacations. I try to separate myself from work as much as I can when I'm on vacation.

  2. I’m a strange IT person who doesn’t (yet) have a data plan for my phone. Part of the reason is so I have a good excuse to stay “unplugged” when away from work (and part of it is financial). I do like my cell phone/PDA combo (which at the time I got it 2 years ago was considered a “smartphone”, although now doesn’t qualify as such).

    I do leave my phone on even when I’m on vacation so that people from the office can reach me in an emergency, but I can’t check my email with it. I also often take my laptop with me on vacations, but I rarely check my work email during vacations. I try to separate myself from work as much as I can when I’m on vacation.

  3. When I'm on vacation, I try not to worry about work that much (which is kind of impossible being in IT)… But I've seen in the company I work, that once people get into the enterprise data plan their private life disappears… They get emails at midnight, sundays, holidays and everything else you can imagine. So considering that, I'm good the way I am, checking the company webmail whenever I can, but no data plan for me…

  4. When I’m on vacation, I try not to worry about work that much (which is kind of impossible being in IT)… But I’ve seen in the company I work, that once people get into the enterprise data plan their private life disappears… They get emails at midnight, sundays, holidays and everything else you can imagine. So considering that, I’m good the way I am, checking the company webmail whenever I can, but no data plan for me…

  5. I used to use my phone all the time, just to be reachable after my work hours. I happen to do the IT for a company that has several divisions, which work outside my hours. I was always reachable for them, but this turned around a bit lately. For me the "leave my phone at home" moment came when I had a nice and even little romantic dinner with my girl and all kinds of people started to call me. With stupid questions even! Since that day I try to leave my phone in the car, at home or put it to silence.

    The problem with always being reachable is, that if you give in too much, people are going to expect they can always and ever call you. They even start calling you if a question pops up in their mind, which also could have waited to the next day… Ah well, guess if you are responsible for a whole lot of systems and the company being up, you have to be reachable in some way. Although if your company expects you to be reachable 24/7, they should also pay you for 24/7 instead of 40/5 if you ask me.

    Anyway, the vacation which was most relaxing for me ever, was the one to Australia, where I left my phone home and did not read email for 5 weeks. It felt like being back in the 80's, but man, really lost loads of wrinkles on that one!

  6. I used to use my phone all the time, just to be reachable after my work hours. I happen to do the IT for a company that has several divisions, which work outside my hours. I was always reachable for them, but this turned around a bit lately. For me the “leave my phone at home” moment came when I had a nice and even little romantic dinner with my girl and all kinds of people started to call me. With stupid questions even! Since that day I try to leave my phone in the car, at home or put it to silence.

    The problem with always being reachable is, that if you give in too much, people are going to expect they can always and ever call you. They even start calling you if a question pops up in their mind, which also could have waited to the next day… Ah well, guess if you are responsible for a whole lot of systems and the company being up, you have to be reachable in some way. Although if your company expects you to be reachable 24/7, they should also pay you for 24/7 instead of 40/5 if you ask me.

    Anyway, the vacation which was most relaxing for me ever, was the one to Australia, where I left my phone home and did not read email for 5 weeks. It felt like being back in the 80′s, but man, really lost loads of wrinkles on that one!

  7. While it does make it more difficult to “unplug" during off-times, I'm almost constantly keeping tabs with routine tasks remotely via my iPhone's email function. Tho this does mean that I'm (voluntarily) "on the clock" at all times, the counter-point is that this affords me lots of leniency with errands, doctor's appointments, and other stuff that takes me out of the office during normal business hours.

  8. While it does make it more difficult to “unplug” during off-times, I’m almost constantly keeping tabs with routine tasks remotely via my iPhone’s email function. Tho this does mean that I’m (voluntarily) “on the clock” at all times, the counter-point is that this affords me lots of leniency with errands, doctor’s appointments, and other stuff that takes me out of the office during normal business hours.